Molly MacRae Monday: Who was Mystery Chef?

Author Molly MacRae brings us a recipe from The Mystery Chef 1940′s radio show in her guest post this month. It is of course with my favorite food…-AA

Who was “The Mystery Chef?”

Have you ever heard of the “The Mystery Chef?” It was a radio program that ran for about twenty years, debuting in 1930. It was on from 2:15 to 2:30 P.M. Monday through Friday. According to the hype in 1944 (because there was hype even then) the Mystery Chef offered helpful tips based on “his many years of research and practical experience.” I haven’t found much information about the programs, including the identity of the chef, but I have three printed recipe sheets from the program that my grandmother saved in a stationery box of clippings and handwritten recipes that don’t look as though they were anyone’s favorites. None of them are stained or creased from use. It’s just a box of odd little bits and pieces, including a lot of fairly awful sounding recipes for fish, a handwritten recipe for hair tonic, and these three recipe sheets from “The Mystery Chef.” I love the whole box of stuff, weird as it is. I’m especially fond of the recipe the Mystery Chef featured in his broadcast on February 9, 1944, and I think Amy will be too. It’s for Prune Soufflé. If you have any information about the program or the Mystery Chef himself, I’d love to hear it. Meanwhile, here’s the recipe.

Prune Soufflé

2 cups prunes                          5 tablespoons sugar

¾ cup boiling water                1 tablespoon lemon juice

3 egg whites                            ½ teaspoon salt

Directions: Soak prunes until soft; then cook in boiling water until tender. When cooked, allow to cool; then remove stones and press the prunes through a sieve. Beat the whites of the eggs until stiff; then add the sugar, a tablespoon at a time and beat after each addition. Add the lemon juice and salt to the prune pulp. Then carefully fold in the beaten egg whites by passing a spoon through it and lightly lifting the mixture over, and passing the spoon through again. Mix in carefully and thoroughly. Butter a baking dish, pudding dish or mold, and light pile the prune mixture in. Bake in a moderate oven for 30 minutes. Serve with whipped cream.




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5 Responses to Molly MacRae Monday: Who was Mystery Chef?

  1. To me, the mystery is why anyone would want to souffle a prune when chocolate exists.

  2. Totally agree with Beverle. That said, enjoyed the post immensely.

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